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Old March 31st, 2004, 03:44 PM   #1
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Versatile shotgun/handheld mic?

Are there a shotgun mics that can do an acceptable job in handheld use or are the applications too different? If so, who are the candidates?

I can't really afford two mics right now and so would like to get dual use out of one without too much compromise.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 04:22 PM   #2
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The ME66 is often used as a hand mic in ENG . The Sennheiser ME64 and 65 would work for both as well. The ME65 has a fairly low output (10mv) and has a hypercardoid pattern. The ME 64 is a cardoid and put's out 30mv. The Hottest is the ME66 at 50 mv and it is a short shotgun with a hypercardoid pattern).

They all share the K6 preamp module so after the initial investment of the capsule and preamp module it's just a matter of buying another capsule.

http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser...ones_k6_03282#

There is a link to all of the Sennheisers that share the K6 modile at the bottom of the page.

I think i'd get either the 64 or the 66 The ME 66 package is $400 and an ME64 capsule is around $160 by itself.

What camera will you be using?
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Old March 31st, 2004, 04:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Bryan.

I'm running a Sony VX-2000 with a SignVideo XLR adapter while in shotgun mode and a Sennheiser Evo100 wireless "butt plug" to bodypack receiver while handheld.

I knew about the ME66 by reputation as it gets mentioned anytime there's a post asking for shotgun mic recommendations, but I didn't know it was routinely used hand held.


Sounds like a good choice (pun intended).
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Old March 31st, 2004, 05:28 PM   #4
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Given that it's a VX2K I'd say the best option was the ME66. I've used my ME66 as a wireless boom as well as handheld with no problem. You need the high output to keep from overworking the VX2000's preamps. (I have a VX2000 as well)

The ME66 is preferred by many as a hand held.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 08:08 PM   #5
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Understand that when they say, 'Hand-held,' they mean that you are holding the microphone in a shock mount and holding on to the shock mount. Otherwise you will get a lot of handling noise.

You can get very nice mounts from someone like Light Wave Systems for about $175 and that is what I use whenever I need someone to hold the shotgun (AT835B for me). It will also adapt to boom pole use and will also support the addition of a blimp if necessary.

There are less expensive (including home made) solutions to the shock mount with handle issue.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 10:22 PM   #6
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It's interesting that you interpreted Mike's "handheld" application as you did rather than "handheld" as in an interview mic.

If he is looking for a mic to use both as a boom mic and an interview mic, the ME66 is a little too long. I would recommend the A-T 4073a or the lower priced 897. However, I would caution against sacrificing your boom pole mic by handing it to someone who may not know how to use it. There are a number of dynamic cardioid mics that will sound better for around $100.00.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 01:51 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Marty Atias : It's interesting that you interpreted Mike's "handheld" application as you did rather than "handheld" as in an interview mic. >>>

Only because he said 'shotgun' which isn't normally considered an interview mic in the sense that an Inteviewer holds the microphone and points it at the interviewee or themselves.

The catalogs show at least some 'interview' microphones as a longer-than-normal, directly hand-held microphone which normally implies some sort of capsule suspension to avoid handling noise.

Is that the type of 'interview' microphone you meant, Marty?
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 11:51 AM   #8
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Interview mics for video or tv are generally long handled "stick" mics. They can be omni or any variety of cardioid pattern.

Since the poster said he could only buy one mic, I took it that he wnated something that could be used as both a boom mounted shotgun as well as a "hendheld" interview mic since, if you have a pole, it would be rare to need to "pistol grip" a shotgun mic.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 12:38 PM   #9
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Just to be clear, my dual use requirements do not include boom use. In shotgun mode it would be camera mounted (with shockmount). In hand held mode it would be held close to the mouth in traditional interview style.

In hand held use I would not expect to be using any kind of shock mount.

As for the ME66, yes it is quite long, especially when you add the wireless transmitter block, but I figure I'm going to have to be comfortable with a somewhat longer than normal hand held solution to get the shotgun feature.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 01:27 PM   #10
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Mike continues to talk about a shotgun, Marty, which is going to be a terrible hand-held interview microphone. Way too directional and way too sensitive.

I don't think you will be able to use it without a shockmount, Mike. Shotguns microphones are especially sensitive to mechanical shock and handling noise. Just brushing the body of the microphone against clothing or shifting the hand holding it, even moving a finger, will add sound artifacts to your audio.

Marty, I find a pistol-grip shock mount with a shotgun to be much better than a boom pole in the hands of an inexpert handler. Easy to point, they can be held nearly as close as a boomed microphone in a close interview situation and if the handler moves around, which amateur's do, you don't get pole noise.

I use this technique a lot when I have novice help (which I am forced to use from time-to-time) and I've seen it used in big productions.

Mike, if you can afford a ME-66 then you could afford 2 microphones to better fit your two applications. An AT835B or AT897 will work very nicely for your on-camera needs and something like an Electro-Voice 635A is excellent for hand held use.

The AT835B will cost around $240 and the AT897 around $280. The EV costs $100 in silver or black. Several long-necked microphones can be had for a bit more $.

We have a a pair of EV 635's at the local college that are 30 years old and still going strong. Dented, scraped and scratched, they still sound good. Lots of them still used for ENG work.

The AT shotguns are a bit more rugged than the Sennheisers and not so super-sensitive to overpressure. They also happen to be physically shorter which can be a benefit for on-camera applications. I think they sound every bit as good as the Senns, an opinion I think Douglas and I share.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 01:39 PM   #11
 
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Just for giggles, we tried (you'll see this in the Now Hear This DVD) where we took a foam pipe insulator, and put it on the 897, taped it over, and tried that. It worked reasonably well. Then we found a small bicycle grip, and that worked really well. Not as well as a pistol grip with a shockmount, but it worked and was on the cheap.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 04:05 PM   #12
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That's good information Mike. I agree that a shotgun mic is an ectreme substitute for an interview mic, and difficult to handle without the risk of excessive handling noise. That's exactly what I meant - "I would caution against sacrificing your boom pole mic by handing it to someone who may not know how to use it."

I would add that the choice between an omni mic like the EV635a or a cardioid should be considered carefully. The Sennheiser MD46 is a great dynamic cardioid for around $160.00.

BTW, if you can find someone willing to sell the 835b or 897 for those prices, there's something wrong.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 04:53 PM   #13
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A fair number of street interviews are consucted using thje ME66 hand held. There isn't much handling noise at all. I looked twice the first time I saw it done and tried it myself. It does work.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 05:59 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Marty Atias : That's good information Mike. I agree that a shotgun mic is an ectreme substitute for an interview mic, and difficult to handle without the risk of excessive handling noise. That's exactly what I meant - "I would caution against sacrificing your boom pole mic by handing it to someone who may not know how to use it."

I would add that the choice between an omni mic like the EV635a or a cardioid should be considered carefully. The Sennheiser MD46 is a great dynamic cardioid for around $160.00.

BTW, if you can find someone willing to sell the 835b or 897 for those prices, there's something wrong. -->>>

Prices taken from the B&H Web site. I only paid $235 for my AT835B in San Francisco. I think they are the bargain of the century for decent shotguns in ENG apps.

The dynamics are fairly insensitive as you know and make good interview microphones especially when the interviewee holding the microphone doesn't understand polar patterns. I always use an omni with the untrained interviewee. Especially if they are at a party.

Brian, you are aware of how to handle the microphone. Did you mean you used the microphone to record your speech or you held the microphone and pointed it at the interviewee (which would work).
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 07:12 PM   #15
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Since I have you here, what is your opinion on the Sennheiser ME62 as a hand held? Would a ME66, ME62, and K6 power module be a good combo for shotgun and hand held use?
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